‘New Super Mario Bros. U Deluxe’ is a fun start to the year

“New Super Mario Bros. U Deluxe” is essentially the same game released in 2012, which is great for those who missed it or never played it because what’s here is some of the best Mario platforming ever, even if the base game feels a little easy. 

That said, this “deluxe” package is lacking in any new features that make it stand out to those who have played the original before. This is essentially a repackaging of two older games, and while those are great, the extra additions don’t stand out.

“New Super Mario Bros. U Deluxe” is one of the better 2D Mario games and one of the best in years. Jumping through each course is truly fun, especially thanks to new power-ups like the super acorn, which turns Mario and others into flying squirrels. The new baby Yoshi is a favorite, too — not only is it adorable, but its powerful jump is also great for clearing levels.

The levels themselves are great but not as challenging as one would hope. Toward the end, things start to ramp up in difficulty, especially the final world, but it never becomes too difficult. Generally, while there are some challenging jumps or enemies, these are few and far between. 

The Mario series is known for fantastic scores, and this game is no exception. It’s similar to expected Mario music, but it is still just fantastic. In particular, Bowser’s castle music is fantastic. The enemies even dance at certain beats in the themes, which is so adorable.

The art style of the “New Super Mario” series has been the same since the original “New Super Mario Bros.” on the DS in 2006. Some of the worlds look awfully similar to the same dull backgrounds and color palettes, which is a shame. However, an entire level based on the “Starry Night” painting by Vincent van Gogh is possibly the most beautiful and best-designed level in the Mario series. It’s the most eye-catching level and the creativity is outstanding.

This port of the 2012 game is the complete package of Wii U Mario side-scrollers, and also packs in its DLC, “New Super Luigi U,” which is tough as nails.

In “Luigi U,” players play as Luigi and only have 100 seconds to complete each level. To compensate for the time crunch, the levels are shorter but significantly harder. It packs some of the best challenges of any Mario game. It’s great to contrast this with how easy “Mario U” can be. Honestly, this may be the best part of the package for series veterans. “Luigi U” is shorter than the main game, but the length isn’t an issue compared to the difficulty.

Outside of the addition of two new characters, Nabbit and Toadette, there isn’t anything noteworthy added to this port. These two new characters also make the game significantly easier. Nabbit doesn’t take damage from any enemies, meaning levels are an absolute breeze. Toadette, by obtaining a super crown, can turn into Peachette, which allows her to double jump and float and grants immunity to pits.

The selling point of this package is obviously being able to take it on the go with the Nintendo Switch, and the game looks and runs smoothly in handheld mode. While docked and displayed on the TV, the game is visually appealing as well. The frame rate never dips and the game always runs smoothly.

However, the asking price of $60 for a-year-old game without many accouterments seems a little steep, but for those who want everything playable on the go with their Switch, it’s a great investment.

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